In this second book of the Elm Creek Quilts series, Round Robin (Elm Creek Quilts Series #2)
we are permitted a more in-depth look at some of the characters which were mentioned in passing in the first book. We see Sylvia, the lady of Elm Manor, once again; we also see Sarah and Matt, who have moved in to provide assistance with running Elm Manor's quilt retreats. As I'd predicted, the characters do indeed continue from book to book in the series Each book introduces the reader to other characters more in-depth, or perhaps reintroduces additional elements in the lives of characters that have already been explored at great length.
We learn more about Sarah as we explore her mother's life through flashbacks, which are common in this book, as well. In order to more fully understand Sarah, it is necessary to understand her mother, as their dysfunctional relationship is a major part of Sarah's life. Also through the use of flashbacks, we learn more of Sylvia's life as we explore the character of Andrew, introduced in the first book. As their friendship is renewed, we learn of Andrew's crush on Sylvia since boyhood, and how he longs for a now-available Sylvia to be a part of his life.
But that is enough of giving away details in this book. Other characters who we examine more closely are other Elm Creek quilters, such as Bonnie, Diane, Judy, Gwen, and Agnes. What is much appreciated about this book is the fact that its pages are not full of positive, perfect anecdotes, or happily-ever-after stories. Rather, the characters experience real successes and failures, ones that readers can relate to. At an intense point, Sylvia experiences major trauma, and it causes the others to self-reflect, sometimes even with guilt, and even drive a wedge between some of the characters, while drawing others closer together.
Of course, there is quilting going on with the characters. They are creating a round robin quilt, which simply means that each person will create a portion of a quilt, and then pass it on to the next quilter. The author uses the concept of stitching pieces of fabric to the larger piece as a parallel to the connections being forged in the lives of the quilters. Color choices and block patterns have larger meanings as they are used to symbolize the events occurring in the lives of the individuals in the story.
This is another enjoyable novel in the series. If you have read the first one and enjoyed it, then you will definitely need to continue the series and read this one, as well. Even if you have not read the first one, the book stands alone; you are not given storylines that are impossible to follow unless read sequentially. Rather, these books can easily be read out of order.